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I am upgrading a few parts on my 2009 Redline Monocog and the first upgrade is the headset. I have never changed a headset out is this a difficult job? I was thinking maybe I should just call a LBS and have them do it. Thoughts anyone.
 

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It is not a hard job to do. There are ways to press in headsets with some big washers, all-thread and some nuts. Just be carefull. If you get the cups pressing in at an angle, they will damage your frame. If you have any doubts at all about doing it yourself, have your LBS do it. Most shops will press a headset in for free if you buy it there.
As for the Cane Creek S-3, I have one in my Salsa. What a POS. Less than 200 miles on it and the bearings are shot. It makes popping noises when I am out of the saddle hammering. Its going away this weekend for the king of headsets - Chris King.
 

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WNC Native
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S3 is a good bang for the buck headset. It will serve you well.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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rsquared28 said:
As for the Cane Creek S-3, I have one in my Salsa. What a POS. Less than 200 miles on it and the bearings are shot. It makes popping noises when I am out of the saddle hammering. Its going away this weekend for the king of headsets - Chris King.
+1 on the POS.

I've got 5 bikes with CK from 3-10 years old, and one with S3 6 months old. Guess which one has to be readjusted every couple weeks because it's either grinding or popping.

Hint --> It's not any of the CK's.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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I've tried both the S3 and S8. Both in my experience had issues, particularly with it being tough to eliminate forward/back play with the front brake applied. Headsets are very much a 'get what you pay for' thing.

By comparison I've got a king headset on my other bike that has been rock solid since '03 when I bought the bike. I've swapped forks pretty regularly and never had any issues like with the CC headsets. For that reason any new bike I buy will get a king.
 

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I've had good luck with both my S3's. I'll agree it's a good bang for your buck.

I will say that the headset seems like an odd lace to begin upgrading a bike, at least IMHO. I'd save for a wheelset or something that will make a difference. Unless your current headset is giving you problems.
 

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Cane Creek's are very very nice and work very very well. At least the four that I have. Two S6's and two S8's... putting my fifth on this weekend. Perhaps the problems people are having is due to them not being very good mechanics.
 

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Frs1661 said:
I will say that the headset seems like an odd lace to begin upgrading a bike, at least IMHO. I'd save for a wheelset or something that will make a difference. Unless your current headset is giving you problems.
Monocogs are notorious for having cheap headsets stock.
 

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The S-3 I installed was great. Easy to install, and settled in nicely after a few hard rides. I did experience some loosening/popping after a short time, and realized it was because I had neglected to threadlock the head bolt. On a mtb this is pretty critical. The adjustment is also quite precise... there isn't much room between too loose and too tight, but I didn't have any problems eliminating play.

I expect it will need replacement after a season of riding or so, but as far as I am concerned, headsets are like tires, chains, chainrings and freewheels... they can be really good, but they still wear out with use.

This is why I just cannot justify paying the price for CK parts... nothing lasts forever, and things last even less on a rigid SS playing in the rocks.
 

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Needed Less ~ Did More
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I have 2 S3's in my bikes and the wife has one in hers (all are singlespeeds too!) and they have all been great. Oldest is 3+ years and ridden year round in wet UK conditions and has outlived freehub bodies, rims, BB's, you name it!

For the price they are amazing, I did have a King and was disapointed with the rocking / knocking because they don't have the conical washer set up of Cane Creek (or anyother company who will pay the licence fee and not opt for an O-ring!)

SSP
 

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sunset1123 said:
...headsets are like tires, chains, chainrings and freewheels... they can be really good, but they still wear out with use.

This is why I just cannot justify paying the price for CK parts... nothing lasts forever, and things last even less on a rigid SS playing in the rocks.
The S-3 might be a fine product. I wouldn't know, because I've had the same Chris King headset in constant duty on rigids, short-travel/long travel suspension, SS hardtail, etc... since 1994. Buy it once and be done. Our other bikes have CK's on them, too. There may be a better product out there -- I just haven't had to think about them since the CK's work great and last "forever" (so far).

If the bike merits a super expensive headset, then just do it. You may find the CK outlasts the frame.
 

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sunset1123 said:
The S-3 I installed was great. Easy to install, and settled in nicely after a few hard rides. I did experience some loosening/popping after a short time, and realized it was because I had neglected to threadlock the head bolt. On a mtb this is pretty critical.
What are you calling the headbolt - the top cap bolt? If that backs off and your headset goes loose, then you don't have the stem tight enough or the stem slipped for some other reason.
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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I almost put in a smartass 'waiting for someone to say I don't know how to install a headset/fork' but left it at "I've swapped forks pretty regularly". Thanks for re-assuring me that I should continue to be a smartass in the future. :D

Every go back and forth between 80mm, 100mm and rigid, sometimes for individual rides. The S3 always has play/rocking problems that can eventually be corrected by pulling down the fork a bit, compressing the split washer by hand and then re-seating the fork. Then you have to do this dance with the fork, top cap bolt and stem to get everything tight and not moving. As another person mentioned there is this fine line with too tight and too loose.

And as another note I had internals for another S3 that I swapped out thinking something was worn (the current one is on a used bike) but I had the same issues. This might mean that the bearing cups are somehow the issue which I'm willing to concede. But if thats the case then its just not a durable product. I don't need to be swapping out headsets every year or 2. (we don't do seasons here, its year round) I'll just buy a product that works 100% for YEARS and just never worry about it instead.

The king on my primary ride is from 2003. And I'm not the only one that has one that lasted that long or longer as Ebasil here shows. People crack frames or buy a new bike and just swap the headset to their new ride. Its value vs. price. Maybe the S3 isn't bad, but you'd have a hard time convincing folks that have used them that the king isn't better.

Schmucker said:
Cane Creek's are very very nice and work very very well. At least the four that I have. Two S6's and two S8's... putting my fifth on this weekend. Perhaps the problems people are having is due to them not being very good mechanics.
 

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I have to throw my .02 cents worth. I like both headsets. I have a s2 that has been on three bikes. The reason the s2 gets swaped to different bikes is when I switch out to CK headsets the s2 goes on to the next project bike untill it gets upgraded to the CK headset.
My current project is going well and I think that I will ride the s2 untill it breaks but I am suprised that it has lasted this long.

Ken
 

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Jam Econo
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big_slacker said:
Every go back and forth between 80mm, 100mm and rigid, sometimes for individual rides.
Yes, I'll swap back and forth between rigid and a reba, and I don't need to do any dancing.

big_slacker said:
we don't do seasons here, its year round
We ride year round here too, but we have seasons.




No denying a Chris King is an excellent product, but I've had good luck with Cane Creek's offerings.
 

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pyroclastic flow
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what about the star nut

anyone else having problems with the star nut creeping up the fork? i ride a monocog flight 29er. is there a specific star nut for steel?
 

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Drinking the Slick_Juice
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nothing beats 1 1/8 threaded headsets, nothing:D
 
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